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M10 / Archilles / Wolverine Tank Destroyer PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Boyd   
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 20:50

The M10 / Achilles / Wolverine Tank Destroyer

In 1942 it had been planned to create a British tank destroyer but with the availability of the M10 these projects were put on hold. The M10 was first made available a the end of 1942, these vehicles were open topped and mounted a 3" American gun, this weapon was significantly more powerful than the 6 Pounder that mounted British tanks of the period and slightly better than the 75mm guns used by the Panzer IV. These M10s were given the name "Wolverine".

The M10 was light, relatively fast and had decent armament but the turret was poorly balanced which lead to very slow turret rotation speeds, later versions had counterweights added to help with this issue. The armour on the M10 was very thin, thinner than that of the Sherman's and thus offered little protection against the newer German guns but the open top, despite the additional vulnerability offered excellent visibility for the crew.

The British made several modifications to the M10, additional 17mm thick armour plates were welded to the front and sides of the M10, also a 20mm thick shield was fitted to the top of the turret to give extra protection to the crew. The biggest change to the M10 was the removal of the American 3" gun and replacing it with a British 17pdr, the 17pdr had vastly superior anti-tank performance to the 3" gun and virtually all M10s received by the British mounted a 17pdr by the end of the war - these were known as the Achilles.

The first conversions to carry a 17pdr were carried out in April 1944, by June 124 M10s had been converted, by the end of the year this had been increased to 816 with 152 vehicles being converted in November alone. Around 1,650 M10 tank destroyers were received by the British, of these 1,100 were converted by the end of the war.

Name M10 Achilles
Type Tank Destroyer Tank Destroyer
Crew 5 5
(In turret) 3 3
Length 19'-7” 19'-7”
Length With Gun 22'-4.75” 23'-8.25”
Width 10' 10'
Height 8'-2” 8'-2”
Weight 26.8 26.8
Ground clearance 12.3 12.3
Track type Steel, Parallel Grousers Steel, Parallel Grousers
No per track 79 79
Weight of one Track 3780 3780
Track width 16.56” 16.56”
Engine GM Duel Diesel GM Duel Diesel
B.H.P 14 14
Max road speed 30 30
Average road speed 25 25
Cross Country Speed - -
Gear box type Syncromesh/Clash Syncromesh/Clash
Gears 5 Forward 1 Reverse 5 Forward 1 Reverse
Fuel consumption (road) – MPG 0.5 0.5
Fuel consumption (cross country) - -
Petrol 150 150
Auxiliary capacity - -
Radius of action (road) - -
Radius of action (cross country) - -
Trench Crossing 7'-5” 7'-5”
Vertical obstacle 1'-6” 1'-6”
Fording height 3' 3'
Gradient 30 30
Main Armament 3” M5 17 Pounder
Ammunition - -
Secondary Armament - -
Ammunition - -
Transverse type Hand Hand
Max elevation 30 30
Max depression 10' 10'
Turret Ring Size 69 69
Optics    No.43?
Hull Nose 50.8 50.8
Hull Front 38.1 38.1
Hull Sides Upper 19.05 19.05
Hull Sides Lower 25.4 25.4
Hull Rear Lower 19.05 19.05
Hull Rear Upper 25.4 25.4
Engine Deck 9.53 9.53
Hull Top 19.05 19.05
Hull Floor 12.7 12.7
Turret Mantlet 57.15 57.15
Turret Sides 25.4 25.4
Turret Rear 25.4 25.4
Turret Floor 25.4 25.4
Turret Top (Front) 19.05  
Additional Armour 17(I.T.80)
  Hull Front
  Turret Sides
  Hull Sides
  20(1.T.80) Turret Shield

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